WELCOME TO THE LEEDS PARISH COUNCIL WEBSITE
NOTICE OF PARISH COUNCIL MEETING TO BE HELD ON
TUESDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER 2020 AT 7.30PM
Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, all face to face public meetings have been cancelled. The Parish Council will now meet in virtual terms using Zoom.
Members of the public are invited to join the virtual meeting which will take place on Tuesday 15th Sep 2020 at 7.30pm.
Information on how to join this meeting is available by contacting the Parish Clerk for the meeting ID, members of the public are able to join by video or telephone.
or by telephone on 01634 867173
The agenda for the meeting is available to download from the Parish Councils website.
Members of the public wishing to raise matters at the meeting must contact the Clerk and submit their enquiry/question by 4pm on the day before the meeting.
If joining the meeting, we must ask you to mute your device when entering the meeting and remain muted until you are asked to speak.
Leeds village in Kent cannot, of course, be compared with Leeds in Yorkshire which is probably the first 'hit' you get when searching for Leeds on the web. We are a small community with fewer than 1000 inhabitants, nestling at the foot of the North Downs in the heart of the Kent countryside five miles south east of Maidstone.
The village may have taken its name from the stream known in early times was known as the Hlyde…… the loud or noisy one. We know the original settlement was called Hlydes – 'belonging to the noisy one' and is recorded as Esleades, 1086, Hlydea, Hledes c.1100 and Leeds 1610.
Leeds Castle, Kent
Sadly, the noisy one has now been muffled by being diverted through an underground conduit – the sound of merry water being replaced by the rumble of traffic.
If this is the true origin of the name, it would pinpoint the location of the original settlement as being in the hollow where now stands the George Inn and the cluster of delightful period homes.
Of course, much of Leeds fame is due to its proximity to Leeds Castle. Nowadays a Mecca for tourists but up to 1974 it was privately owned, keeping many people in Leeds and nearby Broomfield employed both in the castle and on the surrounding farmland.
There was an Anglo-Saxon fortress on the site of Leeds castle as early as 978 AD and, as you would expect, has had a colourful history through the ages with much of the British monarchy passing through its portals. Now many thousands of people from all over the world are attracted to its moated magnificence, to the beauty of its surroundings and to attend the many concerts - classical, jazz and pop – held in the grounds throughout the summer.
As you come into the village from the busy A20 you are aware of another landmark – our ancient Norman church its suggestions of earlier Anglo-Saxon origins. It is a beautiful building with its surrounding churchyard which in spring time displays a marvellous carpet of snowdrops and later daffodils – worth a journey in itself. Do take time to walk round the graveyard and read some of the ancient gravestones which give us fascinating glimpses of social history through the years.
Leeds Priory, Kent
In the middle of the village, behind the George Inn on the rise of land and set back from the road is the site of the old Leeds Priory. We understand that it was founded in 1119. The Priory flourished for 420 years until King Henry VIII with his relish for purging the land of Papal error and replenishing the royal coffers at the same time, ordered its dissolution. Not surprisingly, the site is reputed to be haunted.
Around the turn of the century a retired policeman recounted seeing a ghost that changed into four different figures before vanishing in broad daylight. Opposite the Church is the Leeds and Broomfield Church of England Primary School – opened in 1874. Today, it is still thriving.